The Bourbon del Monte Palace
After the battle of Anghiari in 1440, the town of Borgo Sansepolcro was sold by the papists to the Florentine Republic for 25,000 gold ducats to the great joy of its citizens. It remained under Florence until the unification of Italy. In 1500, Giuliano da Sangallo, Lorenzo de’ Medici’s own architect, was sent to Sansepolcro to give the city new walls and fortifications. The walls we admire today around the city were built to his design. It was at this time that the city’s most beautiful palaces were built.
The Palazzo Bourbon del Monte is one of those that beautify the city even today. After careful renovation, it became the home of the Aboca Museum in 2002. The building has a seventeenth century facade and is flanked by the Church of San Rocco. It is made up of several separate parts built over what were probably medieval constructions.
Traces of the archaeological remains are visible in the basement as well as a tower that is part of the ancient city walls known as the Torre del Catolino, dating from between the 12th and 13th century. The palace was built towards the end of the 17th century. Its construction was slowed down by an earthquake in 1703. It also changed hands many times.
The Bourbon del Monte marquises bought this palace from the ancient Alberti family at the end of the 17th century. It has a large ballroom that doubled as a venue for theatrical and music companies of its citizenry.
The coat of arms of the del Monte marquises can be seen in this hall. It is a blue shield with three golden fleurs-de-lis and a diagonal knotted rod.
Also, as tenants in chief, they had the privilege of adding the double headed eagle, the symbol of the Habsburg-Lorraines who succeeded the Medicis as governors of Tuscany, to their coat of arms. Marquis Monaldo (1685-1757), the 22nd regent of the nearby Monte Santa Maria marquisate lived in this house, as he felt that the climate in Sansepolcro was milder and more comfortable than that of the Monte.
The family of the marquises was closely linked to the history of this city from time immemorial. At the end of the 18th century, the palace passed to the Capassini family, then to the Cattanis and finally to the Triccas.